Jude 7 and “other flesh”

The Book of Jude is a phenomenally accurate take-down of the “Christian” Left.  In only 25 verses it describes these false teachers perfectly.  One of their lies is that the “sin of Sodom” was just in-hospitality.  They quote part of Ezekiel to justify this and ignore all other references to Sodom, including the primary Genesis account.  Sadly, most people don’t bother to read the Bible themselves and are all too happy to swallow the worldly and un-biblical view of these wolves.

Jude 7 is one of the passages they ignore or twist to their ends:

just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

Kevin DeYoung has a great response to this in What Does Jude 7 Mean By “Other Flesh”?:

Having said all that, I still see good reasons to accept the traditional interpretation and conclude that Jude 7 is a reference to the sin of homosexual behavior.

1. This interpretation is in keeping with prevailing Jewish norms in the first century. Both Josephus and Philo not only condemn relations that are “contrary to nature,” they explicitly understand Genesis 19 as referring to homosexual acts.

2. As a striking example of sexual immorality, it would certainly be more relevant in a first century Greco-Roman context to warn against homosexual behavior as opposed to the non-existent temptation to have sex with angels (cf. 2 Peter 2:6).

3. It would be strange to refer to attempted sex with angels as pursuing other “flesh.” Of all the ways to reference angels, the very physical, human, and earthly sarx seems an odd choice.

4. The men of Sodom did not know they were trying to have sex with angelic beings. Even if sarkos heteras could be taken to mean a “different species” (and I don’t think it does), the men of Sodom had no idea that that is what they were pursuing. Isn’t it more likely to think they were guilty of pursuing sex with other men (as they saw them), then that they were guilty of pursuing sex with angels (which they did not understand)?

5. If pursuing “unnatural desire” is a reference to seeking out sex with angels, how do we make sense of the beginning of verse 7 which indicts Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities of this sin? Were Admah and Zeboim guilty of trying to have sex with angels? It makes more sense to think that Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities all had a reputation for sexual immorality and that one flagrant example of such sin was homosexual practice. This is why the parallel passage in 2 Peter 2:7-8 can depict Lot as greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of these cities. They had a reputation for lawlessness which did not rely on angels to be manifested.

In short, the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah and the whole region was not just a one-time attempted gang rape of angelic beings, but, according to Jude a lifestyle of sensuality and sexual immorality, at least one aspect of which was exemplified in men pursuing the flesh of other men instead of the flesh of women


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